Jesus is in the boat.
That’s what you and I need to remember. it’s what we too easily forget. Jesus is in the boat.
In a sense, I’ve already written about this chapter here, but I wanted to say one more thing and make it as clear as day, which it never was for the disciples. You see, it’s really important that you and I remember who is in the boat with us.
And so it happened that one day Jesus and the twelve pushed off from shore after an argument with the Pharisees, and Jesus said to beware the leaven of the Pharisees, meaning their teaching. But the disciples thought he meant something about bread, and they began to be worried that they only had brought one loaf with them. So Jesus becomes a math teacher and gives them two word problems (years ago, I heard a great speaker who had some fun with the “word problem” idea. Can’t remember his name):
“When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.”
“And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.”
And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
Mark 8:19-21 (ESV)
The scene is in contention for one of the most ironic in the Bible. Jesus has just miraculously fed the multitudes and now the disciples are worried about lunch. The lesson that the Lord is passing on to us? Provision is not a problem. He is in the boat.
Now, it is always our way to be worried about provision, so Jesus preached part of his Sermon on the Mount on this idea:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV)
I’m writing to myself today, as I often do. God has so wonderfully provided for me and mine throughout life – He’s multiplied loaves so many times – and yet sometimes I still wonder and worry. But the mathematics lesson from Mark 8 is that I should repent. Whether I have one loaf or two…Jesus is in the boat.